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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

This study aimed to examine the satisfaction level differences between urban and rural areas with regard to their walking environment during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea. This online cross-sectional research was conducted using a mobile health application. Overall, 1,032 local residents who participated in the mobile healthcare program of a public health center were classified as being from either urban (n = 481, 46.6%) or rural areas (n = 551, 53.4%) for the purpose of this study. The Walkability Checklist, which includes sociodemographic information, was employed using a Chi-square test and a multivariate logistic regression to investigate whether or not the participants were satisfied with the environmental factors associated with walking. It was found that both urban and rural areas were more likely to be unsatisfied with walking comfort (adjusted OR: 24.472, 95% CI: 14.937-40.096). Regarding the walking comfort aspects of the walking environment, urban residents chose poor landscape ("needed more grass, flowers, or trees"; aOR: 13.561, 95% CI: 3.619-50.823) as their primary dissatisfaction, and rural residents chose messy streets ("dirty, lots of litter or trash"; aOR: 29.045, 95% CI: 6.202-136.015). Compared with urban residents, rural residents were more discontented with the walking environment. Thus, to promote walking activities at the community level, it is necessary to focus on walking comfort, and implement efforts related to environmental beautification.

Jo Hoon, Lee Ho Hee, Kim Dong-Hyun, Kong In Deok

2022